2 Jul 2013

Meridian eyes further Australian opportunities

8:27 am on 2 July 2013

Meridian Energy will reinvest some of the funds it receives from the sale of the Macarthur windfarm in Australia in further renewable energy sources across the Tasman.

The Government-owned electricity generator and retailer sold its 50% stake of the Southern Hemisphere's largest windfarm to a Malaysian company for $A659 million.

The company will disclose the details of the profit from the deal in its annual results.

Meridian invested in the wind farm in partnership with Australia's AGL Energy. They have been developing it since 2007 and it was completed early this year.

Meridian says it had intended the wind farm to be a long-term investment but low interest rates made it attractive to a number of potential buyers and the opportunity was too good to pass up.

The company's general manager of external relations, Guy Waipara, says Australia is a more attractive market for new generation than New Zealand.

"We're already re-investing into Australia and we do see the market over there as very attractive for renewables."

Mr Waipara says Meridian is building a 131-megawatt wind farm in Victoria.

He says the New Zealand market has seen very limited demand growth over the last three to five years.